Presentation at the 2004 Active Living Research Annual Conference
Parks and other types of green spaces are features of the local environment that provide settings in which physical activity can occur. Because they are created by people, they may be amenable to alterations to improve health. There is a lack of reliable information, however, on the best way to evaluate these recreational areas. The goal of this study is to develop and validate quality measures of characteristics of parks and recreational areas that may be related to physical activity.
The specific aims of this study are twofold: 1) to develop and validate objective measures of the physical characteristics of parks and public recreational areas that may be associated with physical activity; and 2) to integrate all data into a comprehensive Geographic Information System (GIS). The aims will be accomplished through the use of observer evaluations, aerial photography, and archival data of recreational areas and their surrounding neighborhoods. All data will be integrated into a comprehensive GIS, where calculations of new variables and analysis of data can occur. The GIS will be used to create a descriptive analysis of parks and recreational areas in New Orleans.